The offical solicitations for Marvel and DC where released this week. With DC's big reboot, I've decided to try and slim down my comic pull list. The main problem right now is how expensive Marvel's books can become. It's not just the extra dollar on Avenger books, it's titles that are continually releasing two books a month. Here are the books I plan to get come September:
1. Amazing Spider-Man
4. New Avengers
5. Uncanny X-Force
7. Hulk (Red)
1. Action Comics
2. Justice League of America
3. Batman Inc
4. Batman & Robin
5. Green Lantern
6. Green Lantern Corps
7. Green Lantern New Guardians
......for a total of $72 in September. Now, DC's books are primarily all 2.99, with two exceptions of an extra sized issue costing #3.99 in September. Batman Inc isn't coming out for a while, so it didn't add to the total amount either.
On Marvel's side, it really wouldn't be that bad in comparison if not for the constant extra demands of all the books. New Avengers has a $5 Annual, plus a Point 1 issue for $3. X-Factor is also having a Point 1 issue, but it's the same price as the regular issues ($3), so it's really just another double issue month. (Which this title does far too often.) Hulk is shipping double that month as well.
I really wouldn't have a problem with these extra issues, if not for the fact they come out with such regularity. Given how much I'm saving in comparison with the DC books, down the line I might hack even more off of my Marvel pull list. And really, this all annoys me to no end because, essentially, the Marvel and DC books aren't that more expensive in comparison. It's just the extra books tagged on, month after month that's making me look at DC's titles and value in a much better light.
Here are the books I'm canceling, and the reasons why.
Wolverine -- I've been very much enjoying the series written by Jason Aaron. Yet each issue cost $4, and this title has been among the constant double-shipping books. So after the big ending in issue #13, I'm leaving the title. And it was such a good title too...
Herc -- I've simply adored the adventures of Hercules of Amadeus Cho. Yet after the Chaos War, when Herc was lost his powers, the series has just felt too different. The "Conan of Brooklyn" was a cool angle, but it just hasn't been the same kind of fun adventures. Worse yet is the absence of Amadeus - who was the real draw of the title for me. Given how attached to the character I am, and how I might otherwise try to stick it out to see it if gets better, I'm just going to cut my losses at issue #4 from last month. The series is only $3, but in September Herc has become another double-shipping book as well, which has really cemented my decision.
Thor -- This is another title I really like, but it's also been a very slow moving title. I don't have enough money to wait around for until issue #4 for something to actually happen. I think I'll jump ship right now, at issue #2, before I get any more emotionally invested in the story. The book costs $4, which is too much for such a slowly paced story.
Moon Knight -- This is the real hard one. I love Bendis' books, for all his faults. I keep thinking back to Daredevil, Jinx, and the Avengers - and thinking that if I stick it out, this might prove to be as successful and creatively full-filling as those other books. Yet it costs $4, and so far Moon Knight has gotten the stuffing kicked out of him - in another hero's costume no less. I feel this book is the one I most urgently need to drop right away, unless I get more invested in the series. Seriously - this is a hard book to cut. But the more $4 titles are the books I'm most intent on cutting out my life. The run could turn out to be just as grand and epic as Daredevil - but I'm simply going to have to read it in TPBs, if at all.
Flash -- I've talked about this book before, and how disappointed I was at the constant delays the Flash series suffered under Francis Manapul. And now Manapul is writing the series in addition to drawing it? This was probably the easiest book for me to cancel.
JSA -- I'm not actually canceling this, but it seems to have canceled itself. I heard Dan Didio confirmed that DC is retiring the franchise for the time being. The JSA is one of my most favorite comic books in the world, but I've also been very disappointed in the lack-luster runs of recent years since Geoff Johns left the book. Rather than see the series flounder anymore, I think a rest might do the series well. Quite frankly, a new re-invention of the JSA should be developed for this new DCU. The gap between WWII and present day has just become untenably wider as more and more years pass. So a new concept for bringing the JSA into the modern era could be the right move for DC. And, best of all, they could do this a few years down the line in the pages of Justice League - renewing the old JLA/JSA team-up tradition.
Fear Itself -- I know this is a mini-series, and I usually don't count them towards my pull list -- but this mini-series has simply been disappointing. It's slow moving, with more awe than actual spectacle. I'm dropping off right now after issue #3.
In Danger of Being Canceled
My current pull list comes to about 17 books in total. It's an improvement from 21 or so books, but I was hoping I could do better. Luckily there are still some titles that I'm either holding out hope for, or other books that I'm merely testing out.
Venom -- The first two issues of Venom where great, but issue #3 just felt lacking. I hope the series picks up as more time goes on - but I can't wait around forever. The only reason this book is still on my pull list is because it only costs $3, and because of Rick Remender is writing it. I absolutely adore Uncanny X-Force, and Venom showed just as much initial promise. But it has to keep doing better to stay on my list.
Green Lantern The New Guardians -- This is a title I thought would be a natural to keep on board. I wanted to read Tony Bedard on Green Lantern Corps - and figured at least I'd get the same deal in the pages of this new series. But I am very disappointed by the preview cover, showing shilouettes of the potential representives of each colored Corps. I was expecting the likes of Larfleeze, Atrocitus, and Indigo-1 to be the stars of this book. From the shilouettes, the only New Guardians from recent GL issues are Carol Farris as Star Sapphire, and Blue Lantern Saint Walker. (And that doesn't even have to be Carol. It could easily be Miri, the Star Sapphire developed in the pages of Green Lantern Corps.) The reason I'm not immediately passing on this book is because the solicited cover could easily be a ruse. DC has done this plenty of times in the past, so those shilouettes could mean nothing. Another reason I'm giving the book a chance is because it might, honestly, be really really good - even if it doesn't have the cast I was expecting. So I'll give the series a try. It might not make it, but who knows?
Superman -- I wasn't wowed by the announcement of George Perez leading this title, but I also don't discount that it could be really good. I'm hoping it will bounce off enough from the themes Grant Morrison is no doubt going to be doing in Action Comics. If Action Comics stands alone, without needing you to read this second Superman book, then I might cancel it. But I want to give this new Superman a chance.
OMAC -- This series is simply a gamble. I like Keith Giffen, and I imagine he'll have a lot of surprises in store for us with this new take on Jack Kirby's OMAC concept. Yet it's easily a book that isn't necessary, so if it doesn't amaze me I probably won't stay on long.
At heart, I've always leaned more to the Marvel side of the comic debate. They always seemed to have more interesting and dynamic characters. Yet DC has just been wowing me in certain titles - especially with the leadership of Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, and Dan Didio driving the company forward in recent years. The reboot of the DCU is their biggest challenge to date, and while I'm still nervous they could really be screwing things up - DC is just giving me a better and more dependable price-point for their comics. It also doesn't hurt that they have the likes of Grant Morrison trying to push ahead new ideas and concepts all the time. I obviously still like Marvel - but their constant double-shipping books each month is slowly but surely driving me away.
One thing to note about all this. I could change my mind by September. I've really tried to think this through, and not make any rash decisions. Formalizing my thoughts in this post has helped. Here's hoping things go well this September!